A Permanent Revolution in Whitehall: the Major Governments and the Civil Service

  • Kevin Theakston


The Thatcher decade had been a traumatic one for the civil ser­vice. There were significant cuts in its size, with staff numbers fall­ing by 20 per cent, and a determination by Thatcher to ‘deprivilege’ civil servants. The 1980s also witnessed the deterioration of pay in the civil service vis-à-vis the private sector, and a bitter, protracted strike in 1981. There was also the banning of trade-union member­ship at the government’s Communications Headquarters (GCHQ) at Cheltenham. Not surprisingly, morale in the civil service plum­meted whilst Thatcher was Prime Minister.


Civil Service Labour Party Efficiency Unit Step Programme Market Testing 
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© Palgrave Macmillan, a division of Macmillan Publishers Limited 1999

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  • Kevin Theakston

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